Newborn found in dumpster still not identified - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Newborn found in dumpster still not identified

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Police block off an area near Planet Hollywood resort-casino in October 2013. (FOX5) Police block off an area near Planet Hollywood resort-casino in October 2013. (FOX5)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

On Monday, Oct. 21, 2013, a worker sorting through recyclables at Planet Hollywood discovered a baby's body in the trash.

More than three months later the Clark County Coroner's Office announced it was a Caucasian baby girl who they call Baby Ren Doe.

Coroner Mike Murphy said she was born full-term and was a newborn.

"Which is 24 hours or less old. There is some question of how long she lived, but certainly our belief is that she was a full-term child, and that she lived for a few moments," Murphy said.

Murphy said his office can't release if she suffered any injuries as it's an ongoing investigation, but the cause of death is listed as undetermined.

The office is working closely with police and performing all scientific tests available.

"One of the things that's being done on this case is a neuropathology consult with a doctor outside of our office. DNA will be sampled and taken, and ultimately, she would be uploaded to the NamUs.gov," Murphy said.

NamUs is the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System.

It's used by detectives and everyday people to find missing or unidentified persons for free.

It's paid for by the National Institute of Justice.

Clark County uses the site when it can't identify a body.

The site holds fingerprints, dental records, pictures and descriptions of the deceased. It also has missing person's information. Experts and the technology involved sometimes make a match and crack a case.

"We have anonymous persons of all ages in the system, so it's not unusual [to have a baby listed]. Babies are harder - they may have been born and never had an identity," Todd Matthews with NamUs.gov said.

Matthews said it's hard to identify someone who never had a name or living record.

"I think we'll have some cases that will never have ID no matter how hard you try. If this person's existence is not known, it's difficult but not impossible. Somebody had to know somebody was pregnant," Matthews said about Baby Ren Doe.

The Clark County Coroner's Office said the site is a great resource. Since it started using the site, it's identified more than 60 unidentified bodies.

Murphy said if no one claims Baby Ren Doe, the county accepts responsibility. Once every possible test is conducted and results are in, only then will the baby be released to Social Services and given a proper burial.

The county will keep a record of where the baby is in case there is a break in the case.

To learn more about NamUs, click here.

Nevada does have a Safe Haven Infant Protection Act.

Parents can take infants less than 30 days old to any hospital or occupied fire department or police station with no questions asked.

The baby will be placed into protective custody and into foster or pre-adoptive care.

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